The cities of the world proclaim the Montréal Declaration and commit to implementing the Paris Agreement
Montréal, Closing the XII Metropolis World Congress and the 2017 General Assembly of the Association Internationale des Maires Francophones (AIMF), the mayors of the world’s largest cities have proclaimed, from one voice, the Montréal Declaration. This historical document sets out the commitment of cities to come together in taking on local and global challenges, particularly in implementing the Paris Agreement on climate. The Declaration demonstrates the leadership and the involvement of cities to tackle the major issues of our world. For the full Declaration, please click here.
“We, the mayors and city representatives from the four corners of the planet, are more than ever determined to exercise strong leadership and to work towards solving global problems that affect city dwellers and indeed the entire global population. The Montréal Declaration confirms the commitment of cities to implement the Paris Agreement, as well as the Declaration of the Climate Summit for Local Leaders, regardless of the international political context,” said Montréal Mayor and Metropolis President, the Honourable Denis Coderre.
The document also highlights the determination of its signatories to achieve the New Urban Agenda, adopted by the United Nations in 2016, and to meet all the targets of the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations. The Declaration also reiterates the commitment of cities to support economic and sustainable development, openness, equality, peace, and living together in solidarity in the face of violence.
“The Montréal Declaration aspires to be the concrete manifestation of the commitment of cities to play a central role in terms oflocal and global issues. In this document, local governments formally commit to address with determination some of the most pressing challenges of our time, particularly regarding the climate, the fight against pollution and for air quality, as well as a more equitable representation of women in governance positions. I am very pleased that under Denis Coderre’s instigation, we could successfully draft this ambitious text,” added Paris Mayor, AIMF President, and C40 President, Ms. Anne Hidalgo.
In addition to the hundreds of cities and metropolises member of Metropolis and the AIMF, major international networks such as United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG), C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group, and the International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives (ICLEI) add their voice to the Montréal Declaration.
XII Metropolis World Congress: A successful meeting of metropolises
The XII Metropolis World Congress officially closed today after four days in which more than 140 mayors and 1,500 delegates from all over the world discussed the major challenges of the 21st century. Under the theme “Global Challenges: Major Cities in Action”, the Congress offered an extraordinary program and well-attended sessions, with more than 250 speakers and presenters, and topics covering sustainable development, inclusion, living together, economic development, smart cities, mobility and urban planning, as well as leadership and city governance.
“The openness, responsiveness and cooperation spirit of all the participants gathered together in Montréal were the perfect environment for fruitful exchanges and reflections. The contribution of diverse participants, notably from the business sector and members of the civil society, is crucial to identifying solutions to address the challenges we face locally and internationally. I am proud of the Montréal Declaration and of the leadership shown by the cities and organizations that made it possible,” declared President of the Congress Board of Directors, Ms. Monique F. Leroux.
Montréal Mayor Denis Coderre re-elected President of Metropolis
Today’s General Assembly of Metropolis saw the re-election of Denis Coderre as president for a new term as well as the election of the Board of Directors members for 2017-2020. The General Assembly was presented with the 2018-2020 action plan and approved the final version of the Montréal Declaration. In addition, the president of Metropolis Women, Laura Pérez Castaño, was re-elected for a new term.
AIMF: Creation of a working group on Living Together policies
As part of the 37th General Assembly of the AIMF, the Permanent Commission on Living Together of the Association, presided by Mayor Denis Coderre, established a working group tasked with performing an international scan of municipal living together policies and to develop a support mechanism for these policies.
During the two congresses, thirteen new cities in Africa, Europe and the Americas join the International Observatory of Mayors on Living Together, which celebrates its first year anniversary this year. This brings the number of member cities to 45.
“Rarely have we seen a week so internationally charged in Montréal. It is with great pride that our city hosted during its 375thanniversary so many delegations of women and men who in solidarity shown determination in tackling the challenges that affect the planet. Finally, I wish to acknowledge the tireless work of the people behind Metropolis and the AIMF, without whom the Montréal Declaration would not have been possible,” concludes Denis Coderre.
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Former US Treasury Secretary Jack Lew will stress that fiscal improvement by Greece over the last few years lays the foundations for much needed future growth, while at the same time reiterating that reforms in the country must continue in order to attract investments. Lew’s comments are part of an interview to the Economist on the occasion of his address at a conference sponsored by the London-based media group in Athens on Monday. The conference’s title is “How fast can we grow?”, which will take place at a seaside resort southeast of Athens. The influential one-time treasury secretary in the Obama administration conceded that differences of opinion existed with the European side over macro-economic issues, while qualifying that preservation of the Atlantic alliance and the European Union was always a common position. Lew’s interview, in full: Do you detect a reverse in the course of the Greek economy? Or is it still too early? On the one hand, Grexit seems to have left the table, but on the other hand we still don’t see any growth rates that would point to a success story in Greece. Greece has clearly made progress. The most recent IMF review reflected that progress, as do measures of economic performance. After a period of better growth, the economy did flatten out, but improved fiscal conditions are a basis for better growth in the future, and a first step back into capital markets reflects that progress. Countries cannot simply cut or borrow their way to sustained growth. To reach sustained growth and improved income equality requires a balanced and disciplined approach that supports both economic demand and investment – which is why maintaining reforms and ultimately reaching an agreement on debt restructuring remain so important. With this balanced approach, Greece should be an attractive place to invest, and should see growing access to capital markets. There is still more work to be done, but with the continued determination of the Greek people and their elected government, and the ongoing cooperation of international partners, the future holds the promise of further economic improvement in this birthplace of democracy. As it emerges from the Eurogroup meeting of June 15th in Luxembourg, the IMF will continue to participate actively in the Greek program, but will only disburse money if and when the medium term measures on the Greek debt are specified. How do you evaluate this development? Is it a good solution? I have long agreed with the IMF that debt restructuring is essential to achieve a long term solution that puts Greece back on a path to sustained economic growth. It is in the interest of Europe, as well as the IMF and the US, for Greece to be on an economic path that promotes domestic and geopolitical stability. I was encouraged that the Luxembourg meeting produced greater certainty that debt restructuring will be addressed, and in that context hopefully resolve the Greek financial situation so that it does not require constant revisiting. That in and of itself will help produce a better environment both for economic growth and political stability. Since Luxembourg, additional progress on the IMF review and an initial step into the private capital markets are both positive developments. In your opinion, where should the Greek side give more emphasis? On the demand for further frontloaded debt relief or on the implementation of reforms that will improve competitiveness and increase GDP? What’s more important? The best solution is not a choice between these options, but all of the above. A well balanced plan that maintains credible fiscal targets, economic reforms that promote sustained investment and hiring, and debt restructuring that produces sustainable flows should all be combined in a comprehensive plan. Until all the elements are addressed at the same time, there will be an expectation of additional rounds of negotiations and all parties will hold back because of that. Moreover, the sum is greater than the parts if done together, and the impact on confidence and investment would be greater. What is your experience through your cooperation with German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble, and how do you assess the performance of the Eurozone today? Minister Schauble is a good friend, and I deeply value the role he has played to advance US and European cooperation to build a stronger and safer world. He and I sometimes have different macroeconomic views, but always stood together on the importance of maintaining the Atlantic Alliance and the European Union. On matters of mutual security and protecting sovereignty, one could ask for no better partner than Minister Schauble, whether addressing Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, supporting Iraq’s economy so battlefield gains against ISIL were not lost in a weakened economy, or working together to stop terrorist financing. In response to the refugee crisis, Germany relaxed fiscal demands, at home and through Europe, to promote an immediate and significant response. Minister Schauble was a leader within Germany to knit together east and west, at substantial economic cost, and to advance cross European cooperation, including in the areas of financial reform and resolution Europe is finally experiencing sustained economic improvement, and in my view Europe’s improved economy would be even stronger if available fiscal space was used more fully, and this would relieve pressure to use monetary tools. But it is also the case the Europe’s economy is much healthier than it was a few years ago. Where do you detect changes in US economic policy until now, following Donald Trump’s election, and how is the prospect for the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Agreement being shaped? I believe that trade agreements like TTIP and TPP are very much in the interest of the United States. High standard agreements that open markets for trade also advance progress on labor, health, environmental protection and business practices. Since the US has historically held to high standards on our own, broadening the acceptance of high standards makes the US more competitive. I fear that abandoning US leadership in these multilateral negotiations invites others to fill the void, with the likelihood of lower not higher standards as an outcome. The workplace is changing rapidly not just because of globalization, but even more because of advances in technology. Our political debate tends to merge the two, perhaps because it is easier to blame the anger of an anxious public on others than it is to take a hard look inward and ask how we can address issues within our own economies. Each country and region faces its own challenges. In the US, for example, we know that we can build a stronger foundation for economic growth by investing in our aging infrastructure, which would create good middle class jobs today and in the future. We also know that we need to do better at education and training – for the young and not so young – so that we have skilled workers to fill jobs that are and will remain available. We also need to maintain a responsible fiscal policy and pay for these investments, particularly with the emerging demographic challenge of an aging baby boom. In a growing economy, we do not need big tax cuts that add to the deficit. And in an economy where increasing shares of income go to returns on capital and highly compensated individuals, we should not roll back tax rates on the most fortunate. We should fix a tax code that too frequently lets wealth accumulated from investments go untaxed and in a deficit neutral way reform our business tax code to eliminate loopholes and lower rates that drive businesses to leave the US. It would be reverse Robin Hood to cut health benefits for low wage workers to reduce taxes on high levels of investment income, yet that is exactly what pending legislation would do. Going forward, we will do better if the debate shifts to areas where we should be able to work together – things like rebuilding our infrastructure and training our workforce. This would start to address the real source of the anxiety that is driving political expressions of anger.Panos - Sep 26, 2017
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